The Lose 10 Pounds in a Month Diet Plan (That You'll Actually Want to Follow) – msnNOW

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So you want to lose 10 pounds in a month. While fast weight loss isn’t always the best strategy (see: How Much Weight Can You Lose In a Month—Safely?), sometimes you have an impending life deadline, such as a wedding or vacation, that inspires you to get after it.



a close up of food on a table: Use these breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks to meet your weight-loss goal.


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Use these breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks to meet your weight-loss goal.

If you need guidance on the nutrition front, we’ve got you: This menu of quick, energy-packed dishes can help you lose weight—the healthy and happy way—in just one month. Simply choose from the meals and snacks below to customize your lose 10 pounds in a month diet plan for a total of 1,500 calories a day.

With a pretty strict plan, you can reasonably expect to lose 8 to 10 pounds in one month, but that doesn’t apply if you’re already on a low-calorie diet to begin with. (Before diving into our plan, check out how many calories you’re *really* eating—and how many you should based on your activity level, basal metabolic rate, and lifestyle factors. Surprisingly enough, if you’re eating too little, it can hinder your weight loss goals,too.)

If you’ve calculated your calorie needs and they fit with the plan, combine it with these workout tips and our 30-day cardio HIIT challenge and you’ll be right on track to drop 10 pounds this month without experiencing a single case of the hangries. (Also read: 6 Ways to Make Your Health Transformation Last)

Lose 10 Pounds in a Month Diet Plan: 300-Calorie Breakfast Ideas

Psst…coffee alone doesn’t count as a healthy breakfast. Instead, choose one of the satisfying and easy recipes below. (But really though, how much coffee is too much?)

Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes

Makes 4 small pancakes (2 servings).

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup grated apple
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons wheat germ
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole-grain pancake mix
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine oats and skim milk and let stand 5 minutes. Add  apple and egg.
  2. In small bowl, mix together wheat germ, cinnamon, and pancake mix. Slowly add dry ingredients to oat mixture.
  3. In a medium skillet, heat canola oil over medium heat. Add 1/4 of the batter and cook, flipping once, until pancake is lightly browned on both sides; Repeat. Serve with Greek yogurt mixed with brown sugar.

Ham, Egg, and Cheese Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 1 whole-wheat English muffin
  • 1 slice lean uncured ham
  • 1 egg, scrambled
  • 1 tablespoon shredded American cheese
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped melon

Directions

  1. Toast a English muffin. On one half, layer 1 slice lean uncured ham and egg mixed with American cheese and seasoned with salt and black pepper. Top with remaining muffin half and serve with melon. (Related: 11 Healthy Breakfast Sandwich Recipes)

Mushroom and Spinach Strata

Makes 4 servings.

Ingredients

  • 4 slices whole-grain bread, toasted
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Mist the bottom of a small baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; place bread on bottom.
  3. Mist a large skillet with nonstick spray; add mushrooms, pepper, and onion; saute 5 minutes. Add 4 cups baby spinach and saute 1 minute.
  4. Beat eggs with milk and pour over bread. Top with sauteed vegetables and 2 tablespoons Parmesan; season with salt and black pepper.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until egg is fully cooked. (Can refrigerate up to 24 hours before cooking, adding Parmesan just before baking.)

Warm Honey Oats

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped pear
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
  • dash ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons honey

Directions

  1. Bring 1/2 to 3/4 cup water to a boil; add oats and pear.
  2. Reduce heat and cook oats according to package directions. Top with ground flaxseeds,  ground ginger, and honey. (Or try one of our other oatmeal recipes for weight loss.)

Veggie Patty with Apple-Chicken Sausage

Ingredients

  • 1 apple-chicken sausage
  • 1/4 cup sweet potato, grated
  • 1/4 cup red bliss potato, grated
  • 1/4 cup zucchini, grated
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • salt, to taste
  • cayenne, to taste
  • nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil

Directions

  1. Cook apple-chicken sausage according to package directions.
  2. Mix sweet potato, Red Bliss potato and zucchini together and pat with paper towel to absorb moisture.
  3. Add 1 egg white and 1 tablespoon flour; season to taste with salt, cayenne, and nutmeg. Form into a patty and cook with 1 teaspoon canola oil over medium heat until browned on each side. Serve with 1/2 pink grapefruit. (Bonus: The Best Breakfast to Eat Before Every Type of Workout)

Lose 10 Pounds in a Month Diet Plan: 400-Calorie Lunch Ideas

Combat #saddesklunch syndrome and fuel up midday with one of these colorful, flavorful recipes. (Related: 5 Meal-Prep Hacks for Better Brown-Bag Lunches)

Spicy Shrimp Noodle Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup cellophane noodles or angel hair pasta
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1/4 cup carrot, julienned
  • 1/4 cup sugar snap peas
  • 3 ounces shrimp, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • dash red pepper flakes
  • dash sea salt
  • 1/4 cup sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon chopped scallion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Directions

  1. Cook cellophane noodles or angel hair pasta. With 1 minute cooking time remaining, add red bell pepper, carrot, and sugar snap peas. Remove noodles and vegetables from pot; set pasta aside and rinse vegetables with cold water.
  2. Add shrimp to pot; simmer 3 minutes, drain.
  3. Whisk together peanut butter, rice vinegar, brown sugar, lime juice, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and sea salt. Toss noodles, vegetables, and shrimp with sprouts, scallion, and cilantro. Drizzle with dressing.

Veggie Burger Rice and Beans

Ingredients

  • 1 veggie burger (Here are our top product picks.)
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup brown rice
  • 1/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup thawed frozen corn
  • 1 tablespoon diced avocado
  • 3 tablespoons salsa

Directions

  1. Cook veggie burger according to package directions; cut into bite-size pieces and set aside.
  2. Add onion, cumin, chili powder, and salt to low-sodium chicken stock and use it in place of water to cook brown rice according to package directions.
  3. Mix cooked rice with black beans and frozen corn. Top with chopped veggie burger, diced avocado, and salsa.

Chunky Vegetable Salad with Lemon-Cumin Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/4 cup chopped jicama
  • 1/4 cup chopped apple
  • 1/4 cup sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sliced celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • pinch sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup pineapple, cut into bite-size pieces

Directions

  1. Mix together chickpeas, kidney beans, carrot, jicama, apple, red bell pepper, celery, cucumber, and pumpkin seeds.
  2. Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, cumin, sugar and salt; drizzle over salad. Serve with pineapple.

Waldorf Salad Wrap

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Red Delicious apple, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 5 walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 ounce chicken breast, cooked
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seed dressing
  • 1 8-inch whole-grain wrap

Directions

  1. Mix together apple, celery, raisins, walnuts, carrot; chicken, and poppy seed dressing. Spoon onto an 8-inch whole-grain wrap and roll up.

Smoked Turkey Sandwich with Chipotle Mayo

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped scallion
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chilies in adobo
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon chipotle mayo
  • 2 slices whole-grain bread
  • 3 ounces smoked turkey
  • 1 slice cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices cucumber
  • 1 cup shredded romaine lettuce

Directions

  1. Blend together mayonnaise with cilantro, scallion, chipotle chilies in adobo, and lime juice.
  2. Spread chipotle mayo on bread. Top 1 slice with turkey, cheddar cheese, cucumber, and romaine lettuce. Top with remaining bread slice. (Or pair a banana with one of these 10 healthy sandwiches under 300 calories.)

Lose 10 Pounds in a Month Diet Plan: Healthy Lunch Takeout Ideas

Too busy to meal prep during your lose 10 pounds in a month diet plan challenge? Grab these restaurant meals for a quick option that won’t throw off your macros.

  • Starbucks Tomato and Mozzarella Sandwich (350 calories)
  • Quiznos Chipotle Turkey Sammie (400 calories)
  • Chick-fil-A Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich and a large fruit cup (400 calories)
  • P.F. Chang’s Stir-Fried Buddha’s Feast (380 calories)

Lose 10 Pounds in a Month Diet Plan: 500-Calorie Dinner Ideas

Choose one of these DIY dinners to end your day right.

Chicken Marsala

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4-ounce chicken breast
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon diced onion
  • 1 cup quartered mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup marsala wine
  • 1 tablespoon half-and-half
  • 4 roasted new potatoes
  • 1 cup steamed green beans
  • 1 teaspoon butter

Directions

  1. Mix flour with salt and black pepper. Butterfly chicken breast and dredge both sides in flour mixture.
  2. Heat canola oil in large skillet over medium heat; saute garlic clove and onion 1 minute.
  3. Add  mushrooms and cook 5 minutes. Push mushrooms to side of pan and add chicken; sear 2 to 3 minutes a side and then add marsala wine.
  4. Reduce heat and let wine reduce by half; half-and-half and reduce by half. Serve with roasted new potatoes and green beans mixed with butter and season with salt and black pepper to taste. (Related: 15-Minute Meals That Turn Solo Dinners Into a Treat)

Seared Steak with Eggplant Saute

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 4-ounce skirt steak
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and cubed
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • 1 tablespoon feta
  • 1 tablespoon mint
  • 1 tablespoon parsley

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk together 1 teaspoon olive oil, garlic, red wine, and salt and black pepper to taste.
  3. Pour mixture over steak; marinate 20 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle eggplant with 1 teaspoon salt, place in a paper towel-lined colander and let sit.
  5. Cook steak in a hot oiled skillet 2 minutes per side. Bake for 10 minutes.
  6. Press a paper towel over eggplant. Saute in 1 teaspoon olive oil until golden; add onion and cook 2 minutes. Add chopped tomato and cook 2 minutes; season with salt and black pepper. Remove from heat; add feta, mint, and parsley.

Pasta with Ricotta-Stuffed Mustard Greens

Ingredients

  • 4 medium mustard green (or Swiss chard) leaves
  • 1/2 cup nonfat ricotta
  • 1/4 cup corn
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 cup cooked whole wheat pasta

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook mustard green (or Swiss chard) leaves in boiling salted water 1 minute until wilted and tender; remove thick stem at bottom of each leaf.
  3. Mix together ricotta with corn and red bell pepper; season to taste with black pepper.
  4. Divide ricotta filling among the mustard green leaves and roll each one, tucking the sides in so that the filling won’t seep out. Place stuffed leaves in a small baking dish and top with marinara sauce.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve over whole wheat pasta. (P.S. These veggie-forward dinners are the furthest thing from a bland salad.)

Fish Tacos with Chipotle-Lime Sauce

Ingredients

  • 6-ounce tilapia fillet
  • Squeeze lime juice
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce
  • dash salt
  • 2 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 4 tablespoons thawed frozen corn
  • 4 tablespoons canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons chipotle-lime sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Drizzle one tilapia with lime juice and season with cayenne and salt. Bake for 20 minutes.
  3. To make the sauce: Mix together Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, juice of 1 lime, lime zest, Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce, and a dash of salt.
  4. Toast tortillas in a toaster oven and top each with 3 ounces tilapia; 2 tablespoons thawed frozen corn; 2 tablespoons canned black beans, rinsed and drained; 1/2 cup shredded cabbage; 1/4 cup diced tomatoes; and 2 tablespoons chipotle-lime sauce.

California Cobb Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups cabbage-and-carrot slaw
  • 4 ounces cooked chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons diced avocado
  • 1 tablespoon crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 slice cooked applewood-smoked bacon, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup diced tomatoes
  • 4 whole-grain crackers

Directions

  1. Mix together olive oil, 1 mustard, red wine vinegar, sugar, salt, and black pepper.
  2. Toss 2 tablespoons dressing with cabbage-and-carrot slaw. Top with chicken,  avocado, blue cheese, bacon, and tomatoes. Serve with whole-grain crackers. (Mix things up by tossing the veggies, protein, and cheese with one of these 3-ingredient dressing recipes.)

Lose 10 Pounds in a Month Diet Plan: Healthy Dinner Takeout Ideas

When you’re out on the town or dining out with family or friends, keep these healthy dinner options in mind. (Related: How to Eat Out and Still Lose Weight)

  • Panera Bread Asian Sesame Salad with Chicken and a bowl of 10-Vegetable Soup (510 calories)
  • KFC Grilled Chicken Breast, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans, and a large corn on the cob (490 calories)
  • Chili’s Guiltless Mango-Chile Chicken (490 calories)
  • Olive Garden Shrimp Scampi Dinner (510 calories)

Lose 10 Pounds in a Month Diet Plan: Healthy Snacks

Each snack of these craving-busting lose 10 pounds in a month diet plan snacks contain about 150 calories; eat two a day.

  • NuGo Foods Banana Walnut Flavor & Fiber bar and a sparkling water
  • 1 cup applesauce with 2 graham cracker halves
  • Smoothie, made with 2/3 cup Greek yogurt blended with 3/4 cup frozen strawberries and 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 small mango, sliced and sprinkled with cayenne and lime juice to taste, and 2 gingersnaps
  • 2 tablespoons guacamole (try these hacks to level-up your dip!) with 8 whole-wheat pita chips
  • 3/4 ounce cheddar cheese and a small apple
  • 1/2 cup cooked shelled edamame with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a sprinkle sea salt
  • 1 ounce whole-grain pretzels with 2 tablespoons tzatziki

Slideshow: 10 Reddit transformations that will inspire you to make a healthy change (Shape) 

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